Search This Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lost Desire for Running Dungeons & Raids

            Since Cataclysms release I have not ran a single Raid instance, nope not one, nada, zero, zilch. If you were to go back in time and inform a past version of me during Vanilla, The Burning Crusade, or even Wrath, that they would not be running raids come a future expansion I would have either died of laughter or disbelief. Its not that I am a powerhouse raider or anything like that, in fact I am as casual at raiding as one can get.

I have been to Icecrown Crown Citadel, both 10 and 25 man versions, and garnered some nice loot. But to date I have failed to acquire the King Slayer moniker and don’t really care that I haven’t. It has occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I had been to a dungeon for that matter. I still play the game (Although not as much as in the past.), so what exactly am I doing with all my time and why am I not raiding?

WOW without Raiding

            To some people the concept of playing World of Warcraft without an active dungeon or raiding aspect is some what pointless. For me it has always been just a portion of the game I have come to love and something I did when I wanted to.  I have never had the time or desire for the single minded focus a true hard core raider must have in order to successfully complete raiding in WOW. I applaud those that are able to conquer everything that Blizzard throws at them, but for me it’s just not that important.
With that being said I have never played this game before without some form of dungeon or raiding game play. There has always been some type of progressive gear building for PVE, but now I seem unwilling to climb that ladder. Although I am focusing a lot lately on PVP gear, this is also not the answer to the demise of PVE content for me. I have always balanced the two aspects during my time in game and maintained a desire to run both.
After some minor soul searching, I believe I have come up with the number one reason why I am not raiding anymore and it is rather simple, I just don’t want to. Dungeon running and raiding (Which for this topic I will now call PVE Progression) and the loot it provides, has lost its fun factor and luster for me.  PVE Progression in Cataclysm has had that “been there, done that” feel which I just can’t shake. I am actually at the point where running dungeon after dungeon and then repeating the same for raiding is actually distasteful for me.
Now I understand it is not the games overall fault for this drastic change in my gaming behavior, but it must hold some responsibility for my apparent burnout as each new dungeon and each new raid is basically the same thing as before with a few extra mechanics here and there. WoW has been plugging along with the same instance structure since the beginning of time and although some minor changes may have occurred, it is basically the same thing as it has always been which is an advanced game of sequence memorization with a gear check.

Simon Says

PVE Progression in WoW has for the most part been an advanced game of Simon says in which each player reacts to a preconfigured series of events. Before most players ever step into a Dungeon or Raid they can look up strategies and videos of the fight and gain a basic understanding of what to do next. Although I don’t begrudge Blizzards way of PVE design (They make a lot more money doing it than I do, because I make 0) There methods are not my personal ideal way of playing a game. With that in mind I just feel that the PVE Progession ladder climb is not for me anymore.

As long as a player can meet the following criteria – connection doesn’t lag (which was a killer in the safety dance), reads a strat guide, installs add-ons (Deadly Boss Mods and such), has sufficient gear, and can think and react on the fly, they can beat anything this game has to offer. Sadly for me the one thing missing from this is the unknown factor.

Raiding has no suspense or surprises anymore. I want to have to react to unexpected changes, to walk into a raid and marvel at it all, to enjoy that sensation of trepidation. I can’t do that with pre defined instances which can be viewed on YouTube. Now the expected response from others will be for me to not watch the videos, install add-ons or learn about the instance before entering, but is that really possible? How many raiders would put up with my uneducated and ill informed self before dropping in a fit of rage? For Cataclysm, Blizzard has made raiding harder, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to better or even different.

I Guess it’s Just Me

           Although I highly doubt I am the only one that feels this way about raiding, I imagine the majority of the raiding community is still having a good time. I am truly happy for  them and hope they get all they can out of the game, but for me I guess I am just missing that feeling you got when first entering Blackwing lair or Karazhan. With each release of an Expansion, raiding has lost its newness for me and I think I am just at the tipping point of not being entertained anymore.
          Secretly I am hoping that all I need is a break from raiding, that some day in the future I’ll be itching to jump back into the foray. Ultimately I feel that raiding for me is suffering from diminishing returns, becoming less and less enjoyable with each addition. I realize that for WoW it is too late to change the structure of raiding for me, but my hope is that future game I intend to play (looking at you SWTOR) can be different or original enough to relight that flame inside me.         


The Doc said...

WOW, where do I begin as there are many points that while I agree with you, just look at it from the other side of the coin!
I guess for the reader’s sake, we start at the top.
Since Cataclysm’s release I have raided. I can’t say that the cata content that I have seen is any different than back in the vanilla days of Azeroth. Textures are updated, game physics are improved and spell and melee visuals are better but for the most part nothing else has changed.

WOW without Raiding -
I do enjoy the concept of spelunking an unknown territory with some good "mates" of mine whilst staying on the lookout for a new baddie to slay and pilfer his booty. Sadly, that is no longer the case within the WOW universe. The uses of pre-view runs and too much content release in the "beta" realms is here that I feel where the real blame and demise of WOW is happening.
Let look at it this way. Blizzard, being bought out by Activision, has become so P.C and linear in their thinking, only wanting to garner that renewal subscription that they have stepped away from what made the WOW universe stand out. That thing in my humble opinion was that it was hard. Items that are hard take effort! With effort comes reward. Fast forward the first major expansion and "poof” all the hard work and time spent running around Azeroth is gone! gone! gone! The only reason i can think that blizz would do this? For the sake of the new player to catch up to the rest of us that had spent a year in the trenches! Now I digress. This occurring and re-occurring pattern that Blizzard has of making sure that there are no bugs and that players are greeted with a comfortable playing experience while conducive to bottom line cash flow and new account introduction flourishes, in the long run breeds complacency and bigotry. Ultimately, losses of re-occurring account revenue and the death of what used to be a great Game!!!
Simon Says -
It has been once said "anything that comes for free is freely discarded". It is true that WOW is repetition repetition. With that the duplications only have an different skin on it. Sadly it is endless repetition with no effort. Heirloom gear, added XP from account linked "friends", Dungeon finders etc. You could have a monkey at the mouse and with a little training they too can also be at the top tier of the game. NO THOUGHT REQUIRED! The same gear drops in the same areas at the same time! Hell you could plan an assault on the proverbial white house by the rate at which progression happens inside of Cataclysm.

Raiding has no more surprises? I don’t think that statement is correct. It has surprises. It is just new types of surprises. Surprises like what rude and utterly arrogant and lifeless robot is going to blow his/her oil plug because a new guy turns the wrong corner, or auto shot fires into an adjacent mob, or a hardware malfunction won’t allow a heal to go off....
For the most part, I have tried to not look into the "YouTube vid's" or use web sites such as While, the persons responsible for putting together these extremely useful information pools are dedicated and doing it for what they feel are the right reasons. I feel they also are partly responsible for the Blandness that has become WOW. you know in advance from what stone the next monster is coming from.
in the end, no mystery is left.

I guess it’s Just Me -
No it’s not just you. The launch of Cataclysm has seen the breakup of some of the most dedicated and "hard core" raiding guilds in the world that is War craft. While it seems we both long for a time now lost, sadly i can say without a doubt it will never happen again.

Armatus said...

"Raiding has no more surprises? I don’t think that statement is correct. It has surprises. It is just new types of surprises. Surprises like what rude and utterly arrogant and lifeless robot is going to blow his/her oil plug because a new guy turns the wrong corner, or auto shot fires into an adjacent mob, or a hardware malfunction won’t allow a heal to go off...."

I agree that the average player today is alot more impatient than in the past and the fact we play nowadays with others that we will most likely never see again enables people to behave poorly without the fear of generating a bad reputation. Sadly this isn't the type of surprises I look for when playing a game.

Overall your comments are correct in what is causing the demise of WoW in general and I can only hope this doesnt translate into other games as WoW often sets the tone for others to follow.